SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. – San José State took advantage of some sloppy play by host Cal Poly and hung a six spot in the eighth inning to capture an 8-5 win Saturday night at Baggett Stadium.
The Spartans (9-17) evened the series with Cal Poly (17-8) and handed the Mustangs just their third loss at home this season, and first to a team other than UCLA. In what turned into a foggy night in the middle innings, Cal Poly committed four errors, doubling Friday’s total of two. San José State posted a clean night defensively.
Trailing 3-2 entering the eighth, the Spartans plated six runs on three hits and took advantage of two errors and four walks against four Mustang pitchers. Spencer Howard, who entered with a 0.55 (1 ER) in 16.1 innings, walked Braff and surrendered a double to David Campbell before being lifted for closer Justin Calomeni. Shane Timmons, Josh Nashed and Justin Beck drew walks in the ensuing three plate appearances, with a run-scoring wild pitch mixed in.
Calomeni was replaced after Dillan Smith chopped a ball to first base that scooted under the glove of Brett Barbier, scoring Nashed and Timmons. Justin Briuhl entered and was only able to get one out while giving up two hits, including an RBI double by Joe Stefanki. The third call to the bullpen of the inning, this one for Craig Colen, finally got Cal Poly out of the inning, but not before the Spartans had an 8-3 lead.
Cal Poly would make things interesting by tacking on a pair of runs in the ninth, but Josh Goldberg was able to hang on for his second save of the season. Zach Wallace (W, 1-2) notched his first collegiate win in relief of starter Matt Brown. Wallace tossed 1.1 innings and allowed just one hit, though he did walk a pair. Brown matched a season high with 6.0 innings of work, and stymied Cal Poly through the first five frames. He finished with a line of three runs allowed on four hits while walking three and fanning three.
Much like it did Friday night, San José State took advantage of a Cal Poly error to get on the board first. Corey Olivet chopped a ball to the right of second base, where second baseman Alec Smith fielded it on the run and threw across his body, but his throw pulled first baseman Barbier off the bag. After Joe Stefanki bunted Olivet to second and a passed ball allowed him to reach third, Campbell laced a single into right field for a 1-0 lead.
That’s where the score would stay until the the bottom of the fifth, when the Mustangs broke through for three runs. A leadoff walk, two hit batters and two singles came back to bite Brown, as the Mustangs took their first lead of the night.
In the top of the sixth, another Mustang error helped the Spartans cut the deficit in half. Campbell led off with his first of two doubles, and after a groundout, was moved to third on a third strike that got away from the catcher Meyer before he was able to recover in time to throw out Nashed at first. It looked like Campbell would be stranded there when Beck hit a sharp grounder right at the third baseman Michael Sanderson, but the ball tipped off his glove and trickled into left field, cutting the Mustang lead to 3-2.
Stefanki (3-4, RBI, double) and Campbell (3-5, two runs, RBI, two doubles) led San José State’s nine-hit attack. Olivet (1-5, run), Nashed (1-3, run, RBI, walk) and Smith (1-2, run) added hits. Shane Timmons (0-3, run, two walks) and Ozzy Braff (0-3, run two walks) were held hitless but extended their reached-base streaks to 19 and 14 games, respectively.
The rubber match of the series takes place Sunday at 1:00 p.m. from Baggett Stadium. Josh Nashed (0-4, 5.66 ERA) gets the ball for the Spartans, while Cal Poly sends Erich Uelman (4-0, 2.76 ERA) to the bump.
San Jose State 8, Cal Poly 5 (Apr 02, 2016 at San Luis Obispo, CA)
San Jose State...... 001 001 060 - 8 9 0 (9-17)
Cal Poly............ 000 030 002 - 5 9 4 (17-8)
Pitchers: San Jose State - Brown, Matt; WALLACE, Zach(7); GOLDBERG, Josh(8) and Stefanki, Joe.
Cal Poly - Zill, Jarred; Dondanville, Austin(7); Howard, Spencer(8); Calomeni, Justin(8);
Bruihl, Justin(8); Colen, Craig(8); Triantos, Thomas(9); Cotton, Cameron(9) and Meyer, Nick.
Win-WALLACE, Zach(1-2) Save-GOLDBERG, Josh(2) Loss-Howard, Spencer(2-1) T-3:21 A-1217
Weather: Clear, mild, 68 deg., 12-20 NW
Howard faced 2 batters in the 8th.
Calomeni faced 4 batters in the 8th.